Dogs on beaches face new rules

21 Feb

Measures controlling animals on city beaches are to be updated after a two-year-old was mauled by a Rottweiler at Clifton last month.

Councillor Beverley Schäfer put forward a motion to “clarify measures” on animal access to beaches at a Good Hope sub-council meeting on Monday.

In January, Meeka Riley, 2, was attacked by the unleashed dog at Cilfton First Beach. She was bitten four times on her leg and needed surgery.

The city said the dog’s owner, James Lech, had contravened by-laws, and fined him R1 500.

Schäfer’s motion, which will be sent to the community services portfolio committee, said current rules dated from 1992.

It called for a task team to review the city’s approach to all domestic animals on beaches.

This would inform an updated by-law. With the public’s help, ward councillors would help identify “use areas” for animals.

Once this was complete, a city-wide awareness programme would be launched.

“The by-law must incorporate financial penalties as well as community service with or in lieu of financial penalties imposed on transgressors,” the motion said.

There was also a report from community services to the sub-council, detailing interim measures until a new policy was formulated.

According to this report, pet access to “high-density” and popular beaches should be limited. It also aimed to reduce “confusing” and “unclear” legislation.

Sakhile Tsotsobe, from the community services department, told the sub-council that as part of the new regulations, updated signs would be put up at beaches.

“We understand the need to provide space, prioritise the needs of the bathers and public, while also making space for uninterrupted time for dogs,” Tsotsobe said.

The new policy would let people know which beaches were dog-friendly and where dogs would not be allowed.

One of the possibilities was that maps would be placed at beaches, informing the public of the regulations.

The sub-council suggested adding a warning to the signs, urging pet owners to clean up after their animals or face fines.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Changing Things


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